This blog features news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.
Chocolate chip goes high-tech
I’ve written before about smartphone apps that I like for day-to-day kitchen tasks, but recently I’ve been playing with one that is a lot more about the fun of cooking.
Cookulus (a play on the word calculus) was developed in part by cookbook author Andrew Schloss, whose “The Science of Good Food” aims to teach readers how cooking works.
We all have very specific preferences for how we like our chocolate-chip cookies, as I learned when I wrote this story about readers’ favorite recipes a few years ago.
Cookulus basically uses an algorithm to deliver precisely the type of cookie you’re looking for, from thin and crispy to soft and chewy. The app includes master recipes for four different kinds of chocolate-chip cookie: classic, chocolate, walnut and whole wheat.
Within each master recipe, you use touch-screen slide bars to adjust along three different spectrums: crispy-soft, chewy-crumbly and thin-thick. You can also adjust for the number of cookies you want to make and the way you measure your ingredients. Thankfully, Schloss and his collaborators created a recipe that never leaves you with a fraction of an egg.
It’s interesting to watch the ingredients, oven temperature and cooking time adjust as you move the sliders along their tracks. It’s even more fun to sample the product of such experimentation.
The app provides an interesting look into how the various ratios in baking recipes have a big effect on the final product. One minute of cooking time and 10 degrees of oven temperature can also make a huge difference in how this classic cookie crumbles (or doesn’t).
You can learn more about the apps, and read about some of the science behind them here. Or you can just download them and get baking.